WATCH: Horror as beast sends girl flying

 

Shocking footage shows the moment a nine-year-old girl was tossed into the air at a national park by a one-tonne bull bison.

The incident, which took place at Yellowstone National Park in the United States, shows the giant bison - also known as a buffalo - charging at a group of visitors who were standing too close to the wild animals.

One witness claims a group of around 50 people were within about two metres of the bison for at least 20 minutes before it launched an attack.

The family was close to the bull for 20 minutes before it attacked, witnesses said.
The family was close to the bull for 20 minutes before it attacked, witnesses said.

In the footage, which was taken by an onlooker, the huge animal appears to be grazing calmly before it suddenly charges out of nowhere at the group.

Everyone runs away screaming, but the buffalo hits the little girl, sending her flying through the air.

As the bull charges, the young girl's parents run to safety, leaving her exposed.
As the bull charges, the young girl's parents run to safety, leaving her exposed.

Hailey Dayton, 18, who filmed the video while visiting the park, said she saw people "petting the bison".

"Because it was agitated by all the people and noise, it just kind of attacked," she told NBC News. "After that, everyone was screaming. There were a bunch of kids crying."

Posting to Twitter, Ms Dayton said she was "disgusted" by how the family treated the animal before the attack.

"This is what happens when you f**k with wildlife and pay no mind to an animal's personal space," she wrote.

"As you can see, the parents saved themselves over their daughter. I'm disgusted."

The girl went flying three metres into the air.
The girl went flying three metres into the air.

The little girl survived the incident, with the park service saying in a statement she was "assessed and treated by park emergency medical providers and later taken to and released from the Old Faithful Clinic".

Yellowstone authorities said the group was thought to be standing just a few metres from the creature - much closer than rangers advise.

Signs at the park warn visitors not to approach the animals
Signs at the park warn visitors not to approach the animals

The extent of the girl's injuries were not released in the statement, and the incident remains under investigation.



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